It's been said that if you follow your heart your life will be a more authentic life. In short, it will be YOUR LIFE. Not the one you "think" you should live based on what the others are doing, advice from the "experts" or your family's expectations of you. The only true EXPERT in your life is you! It's not easy to go against the tide, strike out against the majority and go with your gut! It takes courage and great faith to leap out into the unknown. But that's just what we did when we decided to home school our children 10 years ago....
Many things INSPIRED us to follow this path... My husband and I waited to have our children until " later" in life. I was a busy hair stylist and business owner when we were blessed with our first child. (a beautiful boy) and he was a successful sales representative for a growing Office Supplies company. I continued working for the first two years of new parenthood and worked hard at living up to the mantra " I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan."
My husband and I worked out our work schedule's so our son only went to child care 3 out of 7 days. The rest of the time we were with him! When our daughter came along two years later, the balancing act of working, owning a business and finding excellent child care proved to be more of a challenge than this can -do gal was up for. I felt spread thin and torn like so many women today about the issues of being a working mom or a stay at home mom.
It was after the birth of our second child (a beautiful daughter) that we both experienced a " shift " in our thinking about the roles we play in life, to eachother and our children.
During the days when we were discussing how we would adjust financially if I stopped working, and we sold the business my husband got a raise, making the decision a much easier YES!
See what happens when you follow your heart? The universe listens!
When I was a young woman in the early 1980's, a life of domestic bliss and a cherished family were not the hip thing to aspire to! Not right out of high school anyway. We were the daughter's of the " burn your bra " generation! We were supposed to get an education, LOVE OUR WORK, support ourselves financially and then fall in love, get married and start a family. I am grateful for this time of great social growth for women because I have experienced the freedom of being able to make more choices, as well as enjoy the monetary and professional rewards that come from devoting a large chapter of my life to a career and professional growth. Our mothers's lives were more limited. They had fewer choices. They wanted more for us and rightly so. I don't doubt for a minute that it's because of those years; I gained enough confidence in myself to even utter the words... Honey, what do you think about home schooling our kids?
If there is anything having children has taught me, it is this. To every thing there is a season...
At the time local news papers and the national news were reporting more standardized testing in our public schools in the future. From where I was sitting it appeared that " real learning " was taking a back seat to preparation for MCAS tests. The cost of Private School was not an option and by the way, it's not always a guarantee of a superior education. At the same time, violence in our middle schools and highschools was at an all time high.
One memory will always stand out as the catalyst for my searching for an alternive education for our children. I remember sitting on my living room floor folding our newborn daughter's clothes while she and her brother napped safe and sound in their rooms. As they slept I watched the broadcast of the Columbine Shooting with such disbelief and despare. I sat in front of our T.V. screen and cried. I cried for the victims, their families, the students who survived and our country. I cried for the parents of the children who committed the acts of terror and violence. I was so stunned and deeply disturbed that this could happen in our public school system. Call me naive, or a Polly Anna. Call me whatever you like. At that moment I knew with all of my heart that something had to change...That our world needed more kind and tolerant people, that our children need their parents, and that the needs of a family unit ought to come before the agenda of any organized educational system. Sound radical? Maybe, but I was determined to hold our children close to my heart.
And so it began....the beginning of our home schooling journey. There is no one perfect way for everyone, there is only what your heart tells you. Sometimes in a whisper,other times there is a loud knocking!
Join me next month for a continuation of: Follow Your Home Schooling Heart~it will lead you home
Topics: Finding a support group, discovering your " home -school philosophy " and creating an "enriching" and ART ful home for your growing children.
Until then, keep your children close to your heart...
Deborah Jean Bosworth
" home is where we all craft the life of our dreams "